How do I clean the stylus? Do I use a wet cleaner each time, or often?
The short answer is NO!!!
A DRY soft brush is somewhere between good and “OK”, but it is far better is to use some “fun tak” – this is the blue clay-like stuff you get in the stationery department. Use it just before or after every play. Either make a “pedestal” of just the right height, and place a small squashed ball of fun tak on the pedestal at the right height so that you can use the cueing mechanism to allow the stylus to drop onto the fun tak. The other good option is to squash a small ball (half the size of a dime) FLAT (the thickness of a record) onto a business card. Not surprisingly, a Soundsmith business card works very well. Then place THAT card on the platter OR even a record.
Then cue DOWN and up on the fun-tak several times. Be VERY care full not to DRAG the card or turn the platter when the stylus is down on the fun-tak or you risk damaging the stylus or cartridge.
Do this several times, each time moving the fun tak to a new spot when the stylus is raised, so that when it comes down it hits a new spot.
If you need to do this on a B&O table, make the pedestal JUST the right height so the fun tak is JUST under the stylus position & push the arm down a tiny bit to have the stylus hit the fun-tak to allow the stylus to dig into the fun tak.
Using this method every record should eliminate the need to wet clean ever, BUT if this doesn’t cure a distortion problem due to debris build up, THEN either use the supplied brush and some RUBBING alcohol (70%, water 30% NO COLORING OR FRAGRANCE) and gently stroke the stylus back to front only. Only wet clean when the dry clean doesn’t work.
DO NOT WET CLEAN OFTEN - TO DO SO WILL POTENTIALLY CASUE SEVERE DAMAGE TO THE STYLUS MOUNTING AND CAUSE THE DIAMOND TO COME OFF. USE THE ABOVE BLUE-TAK METHOD.
If you don’t have a good VERY SOFT brush, purchase a WATERCOLOR brush with non-synthetic fibers, one that has bristles that are about 1/8” in cross section. CUT the bristles straight across with a small scissors, making them about 1/8” long. Break or cut off the wood handle so the brush is VERY SHORT, and has very little wood handle. This will minimize accidents and reduce jitter when handling and using.
DO NOT TALK towards your records. They are neither listening, not do they need a talking to. You need to listen to them. The reason is this: when you talk, you spit. Yes, even you. Fine drops. You cannot see them because the record is textured with grooves. When the stylus hits the dried spit, this GLUE then sticks to all the dirt and dust in the grooves. It only takes a few revolutions for this to happen, and so much debris can build up on the stylus, your will have worse than distortion – The stylus may not even track the record.
What do I suggest?? A record cleaner – It’s a MUST HAVE item for any record enthusiast. How much do you invest in one?? As much as you are able – the return will be many times its cost.
Cleaning your records well is the BEST investment you can make in protecting that great sound of your analog system.
Sussurro mk II
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